Megyn Kelly was never going to succeed as a network morning-show host

At Fox, Kelly was a uniquely talented broadcaster. Her politics were in line with the network’s, and she had free rein to be as confrontational as she wanted. Before going into television, she had been a prosecutor, and that was how she conducted interviews with people she didn’t like. One of her tricks was to repeatedly bait her guests until they lost their temper, and then to respond with great calm, making the guests look unreasonable. She exuded an excellent kind of TV energy: intense, hyper-focused, always ready to surprise. And then there was her beauty: cold, unapproachable, half Hitchcock blonde and half what Bill Ayers called her after his disastrous interview. Most of all, what was on display was her intelligence, which was riveting to watch. Rachel Maddow reads a script, uninterrupted; Don Lemon shoots fish in a barrel. Megyn Kelly conducted live sparring matches with smart opponents, and no matter what they said, she was ready for it.

How in the world was she going to make the transition to the sunniest corner of morning television, where she was to have her own hour? By uploading some new software. Over two ghastly days last September, as Kelly launched her new show, she let us know that she had logged off her Fox account and signed into NBC.